Was Don Shanks one of Albion’s more under-rated signings?

The free transfer from QPR is rarely mentioned in talk of all-time best XIs but he was the regular right-back in the top half of the old First Division.

He certainly played his part when Albion stunned mighty Liverpool in 1981-82 with two late goals at a rain-lashed Goldstone to secure a 3-3 draw., Shanks supplied pinpoint service for Jimmy Case, in his first game against Liverpool after leaving his native city that summer, and Andy Ritchie to head home on 79 and 82 minutes.

It was a match totally out of keeping with the reputations of both teams.

Liverpool did not tend to relinquish control when on top back in those days.

And this was the season when Albion were progressing under Mike Bailey’s ethos of defensive rigour and discipline before attacking flair.

They took the handbrake off in the later stages, leaving both managers speechless.

John Vinicombe of the Evening Argus reported that Liverpool boss Bob Paisley refused to talk to the media and was protected by security guards until the team bus arrived.

Meanwhile Bailey fled the limelight and hid himself away in the corridors of the West Stand.

When finally tracked down, he explained: “I thought the game had said it all.”

Kenny Dalglish and Ray Kennedy had Liverpool 2-0 up attacking the South Stand in the first half.

Most of the crowd of 26,320 were pleased to see Steve Foster reply on 47 minutes with a header which Bruce Grobbelaar half-saved.

The ball was deemed to have crossed the line before Sammy Lee cleared in an incident which would have brought goalline technology into play these days.

Terry McDermott’s deflected shot on 72 minutes (the dubious goal panel we have now may well have said it was a Steve Gatting own goal) extended the lead to 3-1.

But Albion charged back to such an extent that, once it was 3-3, Paisley sent on a far from amused Mark Lawrenson for Ian Rush to preserve the point.

Liverpool, went on to win the title and took revenge of a kind the following season when they came from two goals down at the Goldstone to draw 2-2.

Their visit to Hove in 1979-80, when they won 4-1, attracted what turned out to be the biggest top-flight attendance ever recorded at the Goldstone – 28,682.

Albion: Digweed; Shanks, Foster, Gatting; Williams; Grealish, Case, McNab; Smith, Ritchie, Robinson.

Liverpool: Grobbelaar; Neal, Thompson, Hansen, A.Kennedy; R.Kennedy, Lee, McDermott, Souness; Dalglish, Rush (Lawrenson 84).